Yeah, I kinda had one of those spells in life where change happens rapidly, life spins at breakneck speed, and several weeks have passed. You guys doin' okay? What follows is likely a long ramble foolishly attempting to revisit my last post, catch you up on the last few weeks, and just, you know, reenter blogworld.
I'm nuts about the Lord of the Rings. I've documented this on some level before, and I want to reach into them as a way of saying "thanks". I reread the trilogy once a year, and I have for nearly 15 years. It's not that I plan it and feel like I have to somehow do my duty and read, it's just that at some point during the year I get the urge to read the books, so I do. I'm also a huge fan of the movies. In spite of mostly practical changes Peter Jackson had to make, he captured the spirit of the books brilliantly. One of the scenes that plays out a little differently is from the "The Two Towers". Gandalf, Legolas, and Aragorn have ridden to see Theoden, King of the Riddermark, the Rohan. They find him in awful shape, having listened to the lies of Wormtongue, Saruman's stooge for too long. The scene, book and movie, is high drama, a fight for Theoden's soul. Here's the part the movie left out. After Gandalf had removed Wormtongue and stood Theoden up and began to call on who he really was, he called for his (Theoden's) sword. In the book, the dramatic change in Theoden's appearance and strength happens when Gandalf hands him his sword. Wormtongue had slowly turned Theoden inward, convincing him that he no longer had what it took to be King, to live with purpose, that all he could do was look after his castle and his self. When truth reappeared, part of what his true friend Gandalf did was remind him that he still was king, and that he still had purpose and battles and impact. This was most notable when he gave him his sword. Why carry and grip a sword if you plan to be holed up in your castle feeling useless and defeated? I felt useless and defeated by food and diet. When I last posted, many of you did something figuratively that had the power of doing it physically. You stood me up, and put my sword back in my hand. So to all of you Gandalf's who offered hope, encouragement, and prayers, thank you. From the depths of my heart, thank you. Not only am I back in the fight, but a door has opened to a new job that simply will force me to get in shape. The nature of the work demands it. I'll blog about that later, but it's an amazing fit in terms of philosophy and style that has become my workplace. You'll probably be shocked at where my job is.
I'll stop there, but here is a parting thought from LOTR. There is a huge emphasis in the book and the movies that we are born with purpose. One of the greatest lines in the movie belongs to Elrond when he says to Aragorn (after, interestingly enough, giving him his sword) "Become who you were born to be". The most debilitating lies of the enemy are the ones that reduce our purpose and callings in life. Yes, we are broken, and we shouldn't forget nor hide from that truth. But we were not born to be broken. We were born to be a bride, a body, bearers of good news, we were born to be free. We were not born to be enslaved by food, sex, alcohol, cigarettes, control, etc., we were born again to be new creations, heirs, brothers, sisters. May this truth break through the bonds and addictions that bind us, and may we all, in Gandalf's own words, "breathe the free air again", or, perhaps for the first time.